To qualify for membership of the Charter*, an applicant must be a named shareholder or partner of the active limited company or LLP, registered at Companies House, which is the same company that employs the staff and which issues invoices to clients, and have daily contact with staff and customers.

Rule 1: Only company owners or LLP partners

A member must be an individual, named on the shareholders register of the most recent annual return of the limited company, or a named partner of the LLP, the same company or LLP being the one named in the member’s CIELA application form.

Rule 2: Qualifying company or partnership

The company or partnership named in the member’s application must

  1. be registered at Companies House and marked as “active” on the Companies House website
  2. be the registered employer with HMRC of any employees of the member’s business
  3. be the company which invoices clients for fees

Rule 3: Active owner management

The individual named member must be in active contact on a frequent basis with staff and customers.

In particular it is proposed that to qualify for membership, all members must:

  1. Be in direct personal contact with all client-facing employees on a regular basis
  2. Be available for direct personal contact with clients (vendors and/or landlords) when reasonably requested
  3. Be happy to declare their personal accountability for the quality of service of their business and the law-abiding practices of its employees

Rule 4: Legally Compliant

It will be a mandatory requirement for all members to confirm details of their registrations, scheme memberships and legal compliance. Initially the following will comprise minimum requirements:

  1. Redress Scheme Membership – At the point of registration on the CIELA website, members will be required to confirm the Redress scheme of which they are members.
  2. Deposit Protection Scheme Membership – Lettings agents will be required to confirm which Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme they use.
  3. Anti-Money Laundering registration – Estate agents will be required to confirm they have registered with HMRC for AML purposes.
  4. Tenant Fees Display Rules – Members must confirm their adherence to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 c.15, Part 3, Chapter 3 as seen here.

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*Subject to further discussion, additional detail and final agreement by the Founders Committee, it is proposed that to begin with the above.